Saturday, July 31, 2010

Faith and The Universal Dinner Lady

I have been listening to the night mass on disc 2 of ‘Into Great Silence’ (more to come on this great work) most nights before falling asleep. I don’t know whether it is that but it has been slowly born in on me that perhaps my problem derives from a lack of faith.
When I say my problem I mean a lack of motivation, a general indifference to attacking projects (including writing posts), a tendency to wish to escape into Patrick O’Brian novels. And when I say a lack of faith I don’t necessarily mean a religious faith but it does include the notion of lacking faith that God will provide if I have faith, or The Universal Dinner Lady will provide, if you prefer the Taoist view.
This I know already. ‘According to your faith shall it be it unto you’ and so on. ‘Anything you can believe you can achieve’, the power of the subconscious, and so on. But it just came more clearly into focus the other day. And then I read this quote from a book I recently bought, ‘1001 Pearls of Bible Wisdom’ and I had something like an epiphany and a confirmation I was onto something:

O man, believe in God with all your might, for hope rests on faith, love on hope, and victory on love.   – Mother Julian of Norwich

Of course, I said. Without faith – in God, in yourself, in others – hope is gone. Without hope you become indifferent, discouraged, even bitter: you have precious little love for yourself let alone others. And without love what can you have or accomplish? Nothing of meaning or lasting value, hence there can be no victory. I saw that faith is the foundation of a right attitude and I saw that it applied to me. I was in a vicious circle of demotivation and in order to break it I must begin to believe – in God, in myself and in The Universal Dinner Lady. It is all the same, for when you believe in yourself, you believe in the grace God has given you, you believe in God in you. And that is the definition of being inspired, innit?

Image: another shameless opportunistic posting of the lovely Aki Hoshino as the Universal Dinner Lady 

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Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)

Discover The Tale of Genji, the 11th Century classic of Japan (click image)
Kiyomizudera Temple has a large veranda looking out over Kyoto and beyond